What I got from Aleph, by Paulo Coelho wasn’t what I got from his other books. I don’t know if I’m Coelho’d out but I had a harder time with this one. I enjoyed it to the extent that it had the requisite amount of Coelho quotes that I love. He has the ability to synthesize certain experiences and philosophies down to one sentence. Sometimes with less that five words.
Overall I’m glad I read it, and I think I was going through something similar to Paulo when I picked up the book, so I’m happy that I was able to get through my own creative journey as I read about his spiritual one. I especially love the story about Chinese Bamboo. If you like Coelho, you will like Aleph. If you don’t, I would give another one of his books a read first. My absolute favourite is The Witch of Portobello and Eleven Minutes is also one that I recommend.
Here are my favourite lines from the book:
“It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.” – pg. 10
“If we seek something, that same thing is seeking us.” – pg. 46
“Expend your energies and you will remain young.” – pg.77 (I especially love this one. It makes me think that if we remain idle for too long, the potential energy we could have expelled being productive doesn’t just get wasted, but it rots inside us and thereby rotting our ability to act in a positive and productive manner.)
“Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.” – pg.83
“As always happens when we’re focused on what we want, things begin to slot perfectly into place.” – pg. 152
“Only the living die.” – pg.201 (I love this one as well, because I feel it implies that those who are not living to their potential are dead already.)
“Only two things can reveal life’s great secrets: suffering and love.” – pg.266 (I agree because when we experience these two things we are vulnerable to ourselves and the world and both suffering and love make us think about the deeper levels of life.)